Candidates across the country like to make a punching bag out of the national politics that shape Washington, D.C. But those attempts to use “Washington” as a symbol don’t always square with the local reality in the D.C. region – like when a congressman from Iowa recently tweeted that local D.C. needs a recession because the area’s economy is “being built on the backs of U.S. taxpayers.” We take a clear-eyed look at the region’s economy and see how it compares to the region’s caricatures this political season.


  • Stephen Fuller Professor of Public Policy and Director, The Center for Regional Analysis, George Mason University
  • John Stanton Buzzfeed D.C. Bureau Chief
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton Delegate, U.S. House of Representatives (D-DC)

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